MIXING IT UP: On the Scene and in the Sand: A Recap of Art Basel




Art Basel welcomed its yearly pilgrimage of art enthusiasts with a growing and ever-expanding roster which included nearly two-dozen fairs and exhibits.

First Choice VIP- Art Basel Miami Beach: Ah, the big kahuna. This year’s fair boasted another mammoth line-up of nearly 300 galleries. The opening structure also changed a bit with “Vernissage” moving to a “First Choice VIP” viewing on Thursday at 11 am and a “Preview VIP” which opened its doors from 3 pm – 8 pm to the general public. The modification was done in an effort to cut down on the apparent overcrowding and to give galleries more “quality time” with serious collectors. A highlight for me was Survey – a new sector featuring “art-historical projects” from thirteen galleries including two rare “Tir- Assemblages” by Niki de Saint Phalle, outsider art by Henry Darger, and some mid- twentieth century works by the Brazilian artist Alfredo Volpe. The original “sectors” also returned — including Nova, Positions and Kabinett — as did the big outdoor public art projects in Collins Park and the films in Sound Scape Park and at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road. Scope VIP Preview: Scope returned to the sand for its 14th edition and didn’t disappoint with its picturesque ocean views and a great exhibit by Swizz Beatz spread throughout the fair. VH-1 also returned for its third year to bring a nice mash-up of art and music.

Bass Museum: “One Way: Peter Marino:” Celebrating its 50th anniversary was an unexpected and surprising favorite for me this year. Curated by Jerome Sans, the Bass put on a great show featuring four decades of Marino’s forward thinking designs in art, fashion and architecture. The opera collaboration was a nice touch. The show runs through May 3, 2015.

Design Miami/ Collectors Preview: The contemporary design fair that runs concurrently with Art Basel returned this year to its tent behind the convention center. This year’s “10th anniversary” pavilion was created by the Minneapolis-based designer Jonathan Muecke and as in past years, was a great way to kick off the week. The fair also honored Peter Marino with their first Design Visionary Award.

Art Miami and Context VIP Preview: The big anniversary belonged to Art Miami this year—celebrating its 25th year. This fair, which also includes the tightly curated Context always seems to deliver a satisfying lineup.

Aqua Art Miami: Another 10 year anniversary and second since joining the Art Miami family of fairs. This fair, held in a mellow courtyard environment is always inviting with art that is actually affordable. It was another good year of eclectic exhibitors in a low-key setting.



Pulse Preview Brunch: A big year for Pulse – also celebrating its 10th year. The fair got a new director and a change of venue. Helen Toomer relocated the fair from the Ice Palace in downtown Miami to a spot on the beach. And while the ‘pulse” remained strong this year with galleries from New York and around the world, I missed the cozy and spirited ambience of the old venue.


What this year’s Art Basel attendees liked most!

The Kettle One Art Concert event held at Soho Studios in Wynwood… the treat was “Twin Shadow “ in the flesh felt like my own private concert and then meeting and snapping a photo with George Lewis of Twin Shadow.

— Lina Alzate Kravitz, Miami

I particularly gravitated organically toward digital photography. In particular, this year, Tim Walkers work at Art Miami of Japanese models and my favorite, as always, Miles Aldrige.

— Aileen Febles, Fitness and Yoga instructor, Sienna Italy

When it was over. The traffic was intolerable.

— Jodi Mitchel, Miami Beach resident

The exhibition “One Way” at the Bass Museum, was the best show during ABMB. The exhibition includes more than 170 contemporary art works and objects that perfectly describe Peter Marino as an architect and art collector.

— Adriana Vergara, Art Consultant, Miami Beach

I loved the Art Basel tour with ICA Director Suzanne Weaver. In addition, private view of works of artist Ana Gonzalez by art dealer Sandra Montenegro. And lastly, the concise Miami Projects art fair.

— Bernardo Ortiz Coleman, Photographer, Miami

Love Autobody show produced by Spinello- Nada and Untitled well curated fairs with works that are new and fresh- Peter Marino’s show at Bass was fantastic! Also- Screening Room’s project was amazing!

— Mariangela Capuzzo, Curatorial Director- ICArt, Miami Beach

I enjoy going to a few parties every year, and just feeling the energy of the city that only happens once a year.

— Greg Frehling, Owner of Oggetti Designs, Miami

My massage business soared because of the sore feet of all of the Baselers!

— Serena Vann Henry, Massage Therapist, Miami Beach

I love modern art but the best I have seen in Art Basel is the classics. My favorite stands were the ones with pieces from Chagall, Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, etc. And the very best for me was the one recreating the “taller” of the Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres García, and of course, the graffiti in Wynwood’s walls.

— Rita Lopez, Barcelona, Spain

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